This Week in the News…

Posted: June 6, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Saturday, May 31, New Scientist

The Facts of Life

“In fact it was the search for LUCA that triggered the idea of the minimal genome, back in the 1960s. Researchers such as biochemist Harold Morowitz, now professor of biology and natural philosophy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, started to wonder what the simplest living organism was, and whether it would be similar to LUCA. Morowitz suggested the answer might lie with a group of bacteria called mycoplasmas, the smallest known independently living cells. Morowitz was on the right track. In 1990, researchers discovered that Mycoplasma genitalium, a parasitic bacterium that infects the human urinary tract, had the smallest genome of any independently living cell.”

Saturday, May 31, Irish Times

The ABC of the Twilight Zone

“Poets won’t do much for their egos if they go looking for online readers’ reviews of their books on, the biggest virtual bookshop in the world. Maeve Binchy’s latest novel, Quentin’s, gets a whopping 67 online reader reviews, while Seamus Heaney gets just seven for his most recent collection of poems, Electric Light. Given that comparison with a Nobel winner, Carolyn Forche, one of the US’s best-known contemporary poets, who will read at next month’s Dublin Writers Festival, need not feel at all bad about her three online reviews for her most recent book, Blue Hour. Poetry has always had, and always will have, a comparatively tiny readership, even for practitioners as famous as Heaney and Forche. She is currently teaching at George Mason University.”

Tuesday, June 3, Associated Press Newswires

Oversight Report Details Legal Strategy to Hold Illegal Immigrants in Terror Probe

“The government report does not allege that Justice Department policies toward the detainees violated their civil rights or any federal laws. It also noted that ‘nearly all’ the detainees had violated immigration laws, such as overstaying visas or entering the country illegally. Non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, do not have the same rights as citizens, and the government has wide authority to hold and deport people who break immigration laws. ‘From the government’s perspective, if something bad happens and it’s somebody who slips through the cracks of immigration hearings, how are the victims of some terrorist attack going to feel about that?’ asked George Mason University law professor Michael O’Neill. ‘The government is erring on the side of caution.'”

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